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Planning Labs T_T

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Planning labs have torn and crushed my soul.

I've done 2 planning labs for Bio HL and 1 planning lab for Chem SL yet so far, I've not yet achieved over a 1/3 T___T

Does anyone have any advice for what is looked for specifically.

I mean, are there really more safety precautions besides "washed hands" and "put on goggles"

And if you don't have any advice, then tell me of your suffering or achievements with planning labs

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It gets a lot better with practice, trust me. My first biology planning lab, I got 1's and 2's. Through trial and error, you really learn what they want and my second last bio planning lab, I got full 3's :P .

That has yet to happen in chemistry, but at least I'm no longer getting 1's..it's mostly 2's now. For safety, it also depends on what you're working with. If you're working with acids/bases, you should say something about how care was taken when handling them to ensure there was no contact with skin.

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My friend got a full 6/6 on her first planning lab in Bio about Independent Assortment. o__o

I'm just worried about chemistry planning labs because we're only doing two more D:

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Control of variables. Control of variables.....

Always mention the independent, dependent, control and if appropriate, confounding. If you have control, you should also mention HOW you control them in the methods.

Basically, have a clear aim. Find an appropriate method. Plan it. Do 'pre-plan' labs just in case so you know which way you want to do it or if you come across with problems, you can change that. Repeat it to get more accurate values and etc. Remember to have a clear hypothesis.

This site gives very good descriptions and information how to write the lab report:

http://www.biologyforlife.com/IB%20Biology...equirements.htm

although it is for the new syllabus, the 'design' is sort of like the planning a/b

here is another one:

http://goto.glocalnet.net/ibweb/homepagelink.htm

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  • uncertainties!!!! include them EVERYWHERE - data collection, data processing... use them when you draw graphs as well by drawing error bars... and use percentage uncertainties (not absolute uncertainties) when multiplying/ dividing things
    ----> this is really important!
  • improvements (+explain what went wrong) - these can be simple like repeat the experiment for more reliable results

have a look at the marking criteria as well :P

no more safety precautions i can think of :P

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I hate all the little things I'm correct for D:

Especially uncertainties! Those drive me craaazy x__x

And thanks for the advice. :]

The variables killed me on my last lab

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Alright.. I used to have some problems when doing lab reports, but there is this way that made my life much easier. Here goes:

Planning ( a ):

- Aim: No more than two sentences. Start it with "The aim of/ reason behind this experiment is to...., through/with the aid of/ in order to/...

- Hypothesis: Add some background information. You may waffle a bit in this criterion, as information is needed. Mind you that any unwanted/irrelevant information may mark you down, so keep the data added related to the experiment. Start from the more general and go to the specific info. For example, if I'm doing an experiment on the effects of temperature on the rate of enzyme activity, I might start off by defining an enzyme, what it does, and the factors that affect its reaction rate. I would then tackle temperature, as it is the main factor that affects the reaction I am dealing with. What did I use in this experiment and how did I control the results? Briefly explain these in terms of what you did and how the results came out. After the background information, include your hypothesis and WHY you think it's valid. Remember that it must not always be accurate, but do justify it and make it concise. You may write it down in this form, "My hypothesis is that/ I expect that/ I hypothesize that as the temperature increases, the rate of enzyme activity increases (WHY?) as each enzyme has its own optimum temperature where the optimum kinetic energy is present to allow rapid collisions between the enzyme active site and substrate to take place. This will cause more reactions to take place per unit time and thus the reaction rate increases".

- Variables: These are three: - Dependant: The result(s) of your experiment. In my experiment, my dependant variable was the rate of reaction. - Independant: The variable(s) you kept changing in each experiment. In mine, I kept changing the temperature to see how the enzyme works each time (-5C, 0C, 10C, 20C, 45C, 100C). Thus, temperature here is considered an independant variable. - Control/ Constant: The one(s) you did not change throughout the experiment(s). Here, I maintained the time (5 minutes) , pH (7), concentration of enzyme (5ml), concentration of substrate (5ml). Notice how I added results/ figures to the variables to show the examiner that I know what I did.

Planning ( b ):

- Materials/ Apparatus used: Mention ALL the materials used, their amounts and their number. For example; - Beaker (100ml), pipette (2ml) x 6, thermometer x 6, 150 ml of amylase enzyme, 150 ml starch solution, marker...

- Method/ Procedure followed: Move chronologically from the moment you wore your lab coat until the moment you left the lab. Include all details, take photos if possible that would facilitate the report and make it more 'scientific'. :D You should also include final steps like, "a table was drawn including the different temperatures and their corresponding reaction rates" or "a graph was plotted that shows the direct correlation between temperature and enzyme activity".

Note (1): Remember to name any picture or table, "Fig (1): Starch solution used in the experiment." - "Table (2): Graph of Temperature Vs Enzyme Activity"

Note (2): Sometimes it might be a lot better to leave the variables until the method/procedure is written down. After this, you might just reread what you have written and highlight the variables from within, rather than guess them at the beginning of the report.

Hope this has helped. Have a nice day everyone. :D

Edited by BIO-AQUA

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Although it's not required I think it's pretty helpful to draw a diagram showing apparatus set up. Also, try to always find a value for the uncertainty of pretty much everything you measure and record.

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Another tip is, always get to the point. Usually I don't include redundant things like "Make sure you have your goggles on" or "tie your hair back if you have long hair". Some things that would make your planning B better is explaining how you are going to be as error free as possible. Mention the exact number of materials, their size, their uncertainties. For example: "1 Graduated cylinder 250ml (uncertainties +/- 0.5ml)"

I'm not sure if SL chemistry students need to do uncertainty calculations, however recording the uncertainty gives you something to talk about in the evaluation, if your results are off.

What I have learned in my labs is that the more straight forward I was, the higher the mark I would get. After a few labs, I stopped adding all the pretty formatting and facts about lab safety = this is all given and we should have already mastered them well in the beginning of the course. What the IBO wants is how you will conduct the lab, how your data will be collected, and how your results can be controlled. The METHOD you are using is important, since they will evaluate on what kind of data you are collecting. I find it's easier to explicitly state "Record the mass on the data sheet" or something like that so that they can see what you have recorded. Avoid recording irrelevant data: If you are doing a solubility lab, it is irrelevant to record the pressure of the room. You will lose marks if you do too much.

However, Planning A I have never been good at. The 2 highest I've received in planning A were 2s. The hypothesis gets me all the time...

Edited by Dooga

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Yeah, okay. Planning labs. HAHAHAHA! ok, yes, IT'S SAD! But really, does anyone else plan labs, I have planned one and it worked well, so I will talk about that one.

Ok, first of all, get your pre- lab done ahead of time so that you know exactly what you are doing, then "book" some lab days in the future for an ongoing project. If not, I would guess that you would just take a day, and do a lab. After that, just record and complete. :)

One more thing, on your lab write up. It's good to draw your materials instead of printing them off, and attaching them... Unless your a bad artist...

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